On August 17th, 12 Quebeckers from the association Podiatrists Without Borders arrived at Maison Chance for a humanitarian mission. Thanh Liem Nguyen, founder of the association, doctor and professor in the field of podiatry came with 10 of his students ending their studies of podiatric medicine at the University of Quebec in Trois-Rivières (UQTR). His brother also came as a French-Vietnamese interpreter.
The partnership between UQTR and Maison Chance began 3 years ago. Since then, every year around the same period, students in their final year come to Maison Chance for an internship. They examine the beneficiaries to care for their foot disorders. “To tend to the patients, we bring instruments and material. We make arch and ankle supports, give cortisone injections and anti-inflammatories.” explains Thanh Liem.
However this year was different from the others as the podiatrists were able to go to Dak Nong, in Maison Chance’s social center under construction, to treat the local population. The work is progressing fast therefore 20 people are able to stay in the traditional house of local ethnic minorities build at the back of the center. The home on stilts offers access for wheelchairs, several rooms and bathrooms.
At the end of the land, the animal pens are completed and the vegetable garden has already grown. The construction of the beneficiary housings, school buildings and vocational training workshops are also in good progress.
Located in a remoted area, the social center of Dak Nong is 350km far from Ho Chi Minh City. Thus a one day journey by bus was mandatory for the podiatrists, interpreters and other staff members to get there.
The first day was all visits and relaxing to discover the region and recover from the trip and the second day was intensive hard work. Our team went to two local hospitals. Our arrival had been announced so patients were lining in a queue for treatment. 50 patients were supposed to be examined but positive word of mouth brought 27 more. The pathologies were diverse going from growth problems to more severe diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Doctors did their best to treat each patient with the help of interpreters enabling communication between the Canadian and Vietnamese people. At the end of the consultation, each patient went home with a present given by Maison Chance: a bag filled with rice, biscuits and handmade products.
The album photo
Podiatrists Without Borders was founded by Thanh Liem Nguyen in 2012. The association aims to offer free medical expertise for populations in developing countries lacking human and medical resources to treat disorders or dysfunctions of the foot.
We are very grateful to Podiatrists Without Borders for their support!